Sean Wilentz: Romney is Captive to the Far RightRoundup: Historians' Take
Sean Wilentz is a professor of history at Princeton University.
The 2012 presidential campaign may seem like it’s all about the economy, but it’s really being driven by the chief political development of the last 30 years: the Republican Party’s movement further to the ideological right.
Mitt Romney’s attempts to win over his party’s increasingly hard-line base forced him to tack far to the right to win the nomination — which, after his campaign nosedived in September, required him to tack back and present drastically contrasting stances on a wide range of issues.
Compare the Republican Party’s current positions with those of its hero, RonaldReagan. Myths of Reagan’s rigid conservatism abound now, but in the end, what made him a success was precisely that he was not wedded to a hawkish view of the Cold War and how to wage it.
After the Iran-Contra scandal nearly wrecked his administration, Reagan dismissed the neoconservatives involved, embraced reforming Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev and forged an agreement on arms control that hastened the Cold War’s conclusion....
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump Angled for Soviet Posting In the 1980s
- Places That Are Actually Worth Visiting
- JFK’s last birthday: Gifts, champagne and wandering hands on the presidential yacht
- Bozeman schools prefer kids in class on MLK Day
- Universities across the country are facing up to their past association with slavery
- Historian David Kaiser says the most exciting day of his life was JFK’s election
- Michael Bliss, Historian Who Dispelled Myths of Insulin’s Discovery, Dies at 76
- Jill Lepore: Americans Aren't Just Divided Politically, They're Divided Over History Too
- AHA joins protest of Trump’s plan for drastic cuts to the NEH
- Diane Ravitch says the Democrats paved the way for the education secretary's efforts to privatize our public schools